01 July 2010

Adults overcoming childhood sex baggage

For a lot of adults the past of childhood sexual abuse is a well kept secret, and part of life. But today I want to share how to completely let it go, and move on. The first step ... talking about it.

In the fight to end sexual exploitation, I've always believed that the root of the problem will always lead you to some form of a solution. For adults with baggage this could mean looking to the past for problems in a specific area, or realizing a negative reaction to intimacy. Once you take that look the side effects of childhood sexual abuse (or having sex too early) are probably obvious.

If you've been following this blog for a bit then this next thing is a known fact. Theres a good chance that abused kids will runaway to what they think is a safer environment, the streets. But there are others who are abused who might tough it out; the adults I'm referring to.

They might make it to graduation; go to college; get a good job and attempt to live a normal life despite the odds. They become successful in their career and have great friendships, but never let anyone get too close romantically. So they miss out on everything a long term relationship has to offer.

In the movie Precious, based on the novel Push, by Sapphire, comedian/actress Mo'Nique played a mentally ill mother who allowed her daughter to be molested. Around the time the movie was made, Mo'Nique spoke out about being molested by her brother at the age of seven. Lasting four years while her parents stood by in disbelief.

You then theres Queen Latifah's confession about childhood abuse. In an interview with Essence Magazine the Queen revealed being abused as a child by a teenage baby sitter that was trusted by the family. She said this:
"He violated me," ... "I never told anybody; I just buried it as deeply as I could and kept people at an arm's distance. I never really let a person get too close to me. I could have been married years ago, but I had a commitment issue." ... "When I was 22, my brother died, and I knew that I couldn't carry his death and THAT SECRET," ... "I had to get it off my chest."
Queen Latifah on the cover of Essence
Now Queen Latifah's over that hump. She's in a healthy, committed relationship with her boyfriend and his young son. Shes also looking to make a family of her own one day.

The trauma attached to sexual abuse - childhood sex abuse, just plain abuse or having sex too early - can be one of the most shameful, but how does dealing with it work? How does it affect everyone around you? How does it affect your expectations of new relationships? Who can you talk to?
"I celebrate this award with all the Precious, with all the Marys. I celebrate this award with every person thats ever been touched. Its now time to TELL, and its okay." - Mo'Nique, Golden Globe Awards, 2010